Anthotypes investigated

After my introduction to making dyes and prints during my recent study day at the South London Botanical Institute (SLBI), I mentioned to fellow student Catherine Banks that I wanted to experiment further and that I wanted, if possible, to include my experiments in my current extended body of work.  Catherine suggested that I buy the book Anthotypes by Malin Fabbri.

The book has a lot of interesting history of photography and alternative photography as well as an analysis of which plant materials and methods are best for dyeing paper for uv printing.  Their website is a great resource on alternative photography.

I welcome the photography process which uses plants which are readily found and not all of which are noxious.  I have tried photograms and cyanotypes with varying success and greatly admire the work of Rosie Emerson which I last saw at the London Art Fair in January 2018.

The book takes you step-by-step through the process of anthotyping and helping you decide which method of paper dyeing you like, whether it is brushing over the top or dipping the whole sheet in the dye.

I did not use the dye I made at the SLBI as a dye but as a printing material to make mono-prints = my first ever mono-prints! I tried to sieve the semi-liquid I had through a cafetière filter from the SLBI kitchen but it did not work, so, in the absence of a way of straining the liquid out of my dye, I used it as a printing medium.  I aim to collect material from outside HMP Dartmoor to make a dye / printing material to experiment with colours that way.

The print analysis at the end of the book to show which plant material works best is a very useful resource and one I shall take out in the field with me when I collect my specimens / material.


Fabbri,M. 2012. Anthotypes. Explore the darkroom in your garden and make photographs using plants. Alternative Photography, Sweden.

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